Badge collectors, lesbians, car enthusiasts, sportspeople, Muslims, women, etc, etc, they all have their own associations within the police. A new association joins them, viz. one Pagan Police Association.
Neighbourhood officer PC Andy Pardy of Hertfordshire Police has been instrumental in setting up the new association which is aimed at the potential 500 Pagan police officers in the UK. Paganism seems to be upping its game in the UK. Last year the Home Office introduced a Pagan oath for use in the courts.
In my research for this blog entry, I could not find a website for the Pagan Police Association but I did find another Pagan police group, the Pagan Police Group UK, which only formed at the Summer Solstice in 2009. I had no idea the religion was so widely followed among police circles.
In an article quoted in several papers recently one of the benefits coming out as a Pagan in the police is you can have up to 8 annual leave days ring-fenced to be taken on Pagan Holidays, such as Halloween & Summer Solstice. To be honest, I didn’t realise that those who followed a religion were able to do this but it appears they can.
Superintendent Simon Hawkins, of Hertfordshire Police, said: “While balancing operational needs, the force’s religion and beliefs policy gives all staff the choice of re-allocating the traditional Christian bank-holiday festivals to suit their personal faith. This has been very well received from a number of faith groups, including Muslim and Jewish.”
The 2001 census found that there were 30,500 Pagans in the UK.